Expressing worries and supportive communication in home care» - Analysing audio-recorded visits

A PhD-project by Linda Hefskjold.

As a person age, and health may start to deteriorate, that person may require assistance of daily living and healthcare provided by home care services to enable continue living at home, mostly provided by nurses and nurse assistants in Norway. A large body of research concludes that care providers need to address patients’ expressions of negative emotions and worries during communication with the patient, termed emotional communication. The expressed worries often relates to aspects relevant for care for the individual patient. Moreover, expressions of worries can capture individual patient care needs and cover issues important to address from the patient’s perspective to support emotional well-being, a salient part of ensuring home care delivery that prevents dependency and sustains healthy aging.

 The aim is to study how emotional communication unfolds in home care visits with older patients (≥ 65 years) and whether nursing staff handle this in a way that supports emotional well-being for the patient.

Using both a qualitative and quantitative approach, natural communication captured by 195 audio-recording home care visits are analysed in this research project, providing knowledge on features of emotional communication between home care nursing staff and older patients.


Hafskjold L, Sundling V, van Dulmen S, Eide H. The use of supportive communication when responding to older people’s emotional distress in home care – An observational study. BMC-Nursing, 2017. May 16;16:24. doi: 10.1186/s12912-017-0220-8. eCollection 2017.

Hafskjold L, Eide T, Holmstrøm IK, Sundling V, van Dulmen S, Eide H. Older persons’ worries expressed during home care visits: Exploring the content of cueation and s and concerns identified by the Verona coding definitions of emotional sequence. Patient Educ Couns. 2016 Jul 12. pii: S0738-3991(16)30310-X. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2016.07.015.

Hafskjold L, Sundler AL, Holmström I, Sundling V, van Dulmen S, Eide H. A cross-sectional study on person-centred communication in the care of older people – The COMHOME study protocol. BMJ Open 2015;5:e007864 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-007864 .